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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Joining the elite Indian Army - Support " Agnipath" - it is good for the Nation

It sounds shame and insane – at some parts, some anti-social elements are indulging in violence, damaging public property and torching even trains ! – the culprits should be punished severely.  Today the Central Govt has  banned as many as 35 WhatsApp groups for spreading fake news about the new military recruitment scheme - Agnipath. The government is tracking people involved in spreading misinformation and inciting violence.


The distinguished history of Indian Army dates back more than ten thousand years. The two grand epics of ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ constitute the fundamental framework around which the edifice of Indian Army is built.  Though innumerable wars have been fought thereafter, most were in quest of universal peace and ‘dharma’. Recourse to arms was only taken when peace was threatened. In fact the word 'peace' forms the very core of Indian philosophy, which can most aptly be traced to one of India's ancient scriptures known as the ‘Yajurveda’. It is stated in verse, the English translation of which reads - “May the sky be peaceful; may the atmosphere be peaceful; may the earth be peaceful; may eternal peace cometh upon us”. 

Immediately after the Independence of the Nation, there was unrest in some parts and Indian Army brought things under control.  The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948, or the First Kashmir War,  was an armed conflict that was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1947 to 1948.   

Amid protests and agitations against the newly-launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for the military, Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Dept of Military Affairs, today clarified the scheme will be implemented and there is no question of a rollback. He also clarified that all recruitment will be through the Agnipath scheme only.  Lt Gen Puri was addressing a joint military briefing on the Agnipath recruitment scheme with Air Marshal SK Jha, Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi, and LG C Bansi Ponnappa. He further stated that  the Agniveers would get the same allowance in areas like Siachen and other areas which are applicable to the regular soldiers serving at present. "No discrimination against them in service conditions," he added. Calling this reform ‘long-pending’, Lt Gen Puri said, "We want a mix of josh and hosh and that is why we wanted to reduce the age profile. The average age is 32 years at present and we want to reduce it as per the recommendations of the Kargil review committee and Arun Singh committee report," Lt Gen Puri said.


Agnipath: would infuse young blood to the Indian army and bring down the average age.    The process of recruiting 46,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen this year will begin on a "all-India, all-class" basis under the Agnipath scheme.



The Union government on June 14 announced the radical and far-reaching 'Agnipath' scheme, deploying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three Service chiefs to deflect criticism that it will undermine the armed forces' professionalism, ethos, and fighting spirit, as well as potentially lead to the militarization of civil society. The process of recruiting 46,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen this year will begin on an "all-India, all-class" basis under the Agnipath scheme, which was authorised by the PM Shri Narendra Modi-led Cabinet panel.   

·         The scheme allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. Agnipath scheme entails a recruitment process for individuals with ranks below that of officers, with the goal of deploying fitter, younger troops on the front lines. It's a game-changer that will give the Army, Navy, and Air Force a more youthful image.

·         Primarily it will be men and women between ages of 17.5 and 23 (then why people who look in their 40s in photos are protesting !) "After four years, Agniveers will be able to apply voluntarily for the regular cadre. Based on merit, organisation requirement, up to 25% shall be selected from that batch"

·         All three services will be enrolled via a centralized online system, with specific rallies and campus interviews held by recognized technical colleges such as Industrial Training Institutes and the National Skills Qualifications Framework, among others.

·         The first-year salary package is s 4.76 lakh, with an increase to Rs 6.92 lakh in the fourth year. Following the release, the Seva Nidhi package costs approximately Rs 11.71 lakh, including interest (tax-free) There is also a Rs 48 lakh non-contributory insurance cover. If the individuals receive an Agniveer skill certificate, it will help them find post-release employment.

·         After completion of 4 years -  25% of Agniveers will be retained in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness, and medical fitness. They will then serve another full term of 15 years. While the remaining 75% of Agniveers will be demobilised, they will be given an exit or "Seva Nidhi" package worth Rs 11-12 lakh, which will be funded in part by their monthly contributions, as well as skill certificates and bank loans to help them in their second careers.


It gives young people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve their country and contribute to national development. The Armed Forces would be more youthful and vibrant. The Agniveers will receive a good monetary package as well as the opportunity to train in the best military ethos in civil society and institutions while also improving their skills and qualifications. This will result in civil society having well-disciplined and skilled youth with a military ethos. 

Some guided insane are protesting that  there is no job security in the scheme and Agniveers will not be eligible for pension benefits. They demand a rollback of “contractualisation” of jobs in the Indian Army.  

On the protests and acts of violence happening across the country, Lt General Puri said, "Indian Army's foundation is discipline. No space for arson, vandalism. Every individual will have to take a pledge that they were not part of protests or vandalism". He said that the individual against whom an FIR is lodged would not be allowed to join the forces. All candidates will have to give a written pledge that they did not indulge in any arson/violence, he added. 

"By December, we will get the first batch of 25,000 Agniveers and the second batch would be inducted around February 2023 making it 40,000," said Lt Gen Bansi Ponappa. Lt Gen Puri that the Centre will start with the recruitment of 46,000 Army aspirants to 'analyse' the scheme. "In next 4 to 5 years, our intake (of soldiers) will be 50,000-60,000 and will increase to 90,000 to 1 lakh subsequently. We've started small at 46,000 to analyse the scheme... and to build up infra capacity," he said.


Jai Jawan, Jai Hind


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th June 2022. 

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